The full texts of the preliminary deals had not been released to the public because they would not come into effect until a final deal had been reached. But increasing public skepticism about the peace process and the lack of transparency pressured the FARC and the government into jointly releasing the details of the three deals.
Nearly one month later, former President Uribe and his party – bitter rivals of President Juan Manuel Santos and vocal opponents of the peace talks – responded to the proposals.
The list originally contained 52 criticisms of the three preliminary deals reached on rural reform, political participation, and illicit drugs. It was recently updated to include 16 extra criticisms based on “citizen contributions,” according the Democratic Center‘s website.
While many of the criticisms may be viewed as attempts by Uribe and the Democratic Center to harm the Santos administration politically, there are nonetheless concerns raised which are not without foundation.
The 15th “capitulation” raises the issue of how these plans, which include new public institutions for their planning and executions, will be financed. As it points out, there is currently already a budget gap of more than $6.5 billion for 2015.
Decreased revenue due to falling oil prices are also a serious budgetary concern, as more than half of Colombian exports were from this sector in 2013.
One issue left unresolved, as it pointed out in “capitulation” #52, is what will happen to the goods and profit the FARC have received from its involvement in narco-trafficking.
As pointed out by the political news website La Silla Vacia, the FARC indeed haven’t agreed to handover what they have derived from this business, which could facilitate money laundering. But the website also notes that this is something that could be taken up once of the theme of transitional justice is addressed.
Like point #52, Uribe’s concerns that the FARC have not committed to reparations for those whose land they appropriated or who have been hurt economically by the group has some legitimacy. However, this is more likely to be discussed under the Victims chapter, which is currently on the peace talks table.
Many points address the issue of land reform and property rights. For example, the first point raises the concern that in the agreement landless peasants are promised parcels of land as if it was “limitless.”
While indeed land is not limitless, it highly concentrated in a few hands and grown only more so over time. According to Oxfam, the GINI index – which measures inequality – was 0.841 in 1960, increasing to 0.885 in 2009. The United Nations says that 1.15% of the population owns over half the land. A staggering 78% percent of the arable land in Colombia remains fallow.
Point 50 claims that as the penalties for coca cultivation will be eliminated, the incentive to become part of the trade will increase. The deal on illicit drugs, however, only allows those who voluntarily renounce coca cultivation to be avoid penal action.
Another point says that the State has agreed to renounce fumigation and legalize the planting of coca. In fact, the government has explicitly denied ruling out fumigation for those who refuse to hand over their crops, though it will prioritize manual eradication (the FARC insist fumigation be abandoned completely).
Furthermore, it leaves no possibility for the legal cultivation of coca except for indigenous communities that have traditional uses for the plant.
- Las 68 capitulaciones de Santos en La Habana: Centro Democratico (Democratic Center website)
- “Divide and Purchase”: how land ownership is being concentrated in Colombia (Oxfam)
- Peace, Land, and Bread (The Economist)
- Detector de mentiras a las “capitulaciones” de Santos según Uribe (La Silla Vacia)